Using old Android Phones as Surveillance Cameras in Home Assistant

Phones get obsoleted very fast nowadays. Meaning you must have phones lying around in your house which are too slow to be used daily. I had an LG E612 which I thought to use as an IP Camera.

I installed “IP Webcam” app from Google Playstore. We need to note down the IP address and Port of the webservice which it starts. Ideally we should fix the IP address on the DHCP of our routers.

Next we configure Home Assistant to fetch data from our phone.

We then restart Home Assistant and voila! We have our livefeed.

 

Problems encountered:

  • The Android phone seems to be freezing after 5 hours. Maybe it is overheating or something but it doesn’t reboot. It gets stuck on the booting animation. Is it a bug in Cyanogenmod or hardware related?

 

 

Playing PUBG Mobile on the move in Mauritius

It takes me 2 hours to get home at Curepipe (Robinson) from Reduit. It’s scandalous. Plus the bus is crammed with people when it reaches Ebene. We need more 173 and 191 Curepipe buses!!! But anyways, to kill some time, I play this game called PUBG Mobile (Player Unknown Battleground).

I know it’s not the most productive thing to do but yeah, it’s relaxing after a day of work.

It’s very much playable on mobile data. The game doesn’t lag at all while the bus is moving. But my friends were curious about how much data does the game consumes. After 2 matches today. I saw that it took about 18MB.

I think we can safely say that a match is about 10MB max. I use the Zeness Pack from Chili in which I get 750MB for Rs 75 + Vat. That means you will be able to have 2.5 winning matches per day for 30 days. I think online playing on mobile is very accessible now.

Do you also play online games in the bus? Please share with us.

Why I switched to a CHILI SIM only #Mauritius

I used to have a Dual-SIM phone (Lenovo S60) with the 1st slot holding a CHILI SIM and the secondary one holding a MyT (ex Orange) SIM. You need to know that the 2 SIM card slots are not created equal on dual-sim phones. The first slot usually has higher bandwidth than the secondary one. Most of the time, the secondary SIM is 2G/2.5G only meaning you can only do phone calls and very slow internet.

For Rs 86.24 (Rs 75 + VAT), you get 750MB of mobile data. This is a lot of data for a mobile phone. The only thing which you would not be able to do is stream videos. But come on. You do have the options of making YouTube videos offline. You can thus watch your videos on the move on the YouTube app.

The best part of it is that the data balance get forwarded to the next month if you buy another package within 30 days.

As if the data package wasn’t good enough, CHILI also give huge amount of free SMS and all calls to other operators occur at a fixed rate.

I was still putting money on my MyT (Orange) SIM just to keep the number. But then I got an iPhone which has only 1 SIM card slot. I had to make a choice. Is mobile data more important or having a phone number which has been yours for almost 5 years?

The Future of Telephony

There are multiple ways to contact a person: WhatsApp, Facebook’s messenger, Twitter App, Gmail, LinkedIn and so on.  When you have mobile data, you have all these methods which are not tied to a single operator.

It’s simply not worth paying MyT loyalty fees. I highly recommend anyone to try the CHILI Zeness Pack.

My End of Year 2018 Linux Complaints

Desktop Linux has matured considerably ever since I started using it 8 years ago. But I feel there are things which we take for granted on Windows and even Android phones which are kinda annoying. First world problems you might call it.

1st complaint: Bluetooth headset support

We’re all used to turning on our Bluetooth headsets and our mobile phone or car stereo automatically plays whatever media we have on our phone. On KDE Neon, it’s not that refined.

Connecting a Bluetooth device does not automatically switch to the new device. Sometimes you have to disconnect the headset from the GUI and press reconnect. Then it works.

Sometimes the chrome would continue playing audio on the loudspeaker so I have to manually set it to Bluetooth.

It seems like the issue has been fixed for me somehow.

2nd Complaint: GPU support

OK. Good news is that the open source drivers for AMD Radeon and Nvidia GeForce works immediately after fresh OS install. I mean no black screen on boot. But when you want to do something more serious such as gaming and Machine Learning on Cuda, you’ll need proprietary drivers from AMD or Nvidia. Problem is that the latter is often less capable than their windows counterparts.

Subcomplaint 1: No GPU usage monitoring

Windows’ Task Manager does this tasks beautifully. You know exactly which process is using which GPU.

Without forgetting the graphs.

On Linux you have to install glances with GPU support. Yet, it will not show the Intel HD graphics usage.

Subcomplaint 2: Cannot switch between Nvidia GeForce GPU and Intel HD GPU without logging off.

This is a big one. On Windows, you just turn on your laptop and you can do any activity you want. e.g. you can choose to game in high performance or you can write some text in power-saving mode. You can manually launch programs using either the Intel HD graphics or Nvidia one.

But on Linux, if you want to save energy, you have to do:

# prime-select intel

# reboot

Afterwards, if you decide to do some Tensorflow or gaming, you’ll have to enable the GPU and reboot.

# prime-select nvidia

# reboot

Windows really shines in this seamless switching.

3rd Complaint: Nvidia Drivers crash on resume

When you have Nvidia Drivers activated and you close your laptop. On resume, you’re greeted with a blank screen. I have to reset me laptop and reboot. Sucks.

4th Complaint: No transparency themes

Linux themes need to have atleast some transparency settings built-in to look a bit modern. I know KDE people have custom themes which needs to be compiled and it looks awesome but come on. No one needs to learn how to compile applications just to have a modern look DE.

5th Complaint: No ambient light sensing

I’m really used to my mobile phone adapting it’s display brightness according to its environment be it indoor, outdoor, day or night. My Asus ZenBook came with an ambient light sensor but on Linux, my display brightness doesn’t adapt to the environment automatically.

Conclusion

Linux is really stable for the end-user now. Most of the *real* complaints are mostly geared towards proprietary drivers for GPU.   What the things which bothers you most about Linux Desktop Environments in 2018?

 

Basic Security with Asterisk/Freeswitch

This post is not exhaustive. These are the minimum security measures.

  1. Block all access to port 5060 and 5080
    1. /sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p udp –destination-port 5080 -j DROP
    2. /sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p udp –destination-port 5080 -j DROP
  2. Allow only specific IPs to connect
    1. /sbin/iptables -I INPUT -p udp -s {IP} –destination-port 5060 -j ACCEPT
    2. /sbin/iptables -I INPUT -p udp -s {IP} –destination-port 5080 -j ACCEPT